Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts , Omaha, United States Deadline: 14 May 2021
View of Liv Schulman: The Gobernment, 2020. Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE. Photo: Colin Conces.
Founded in 1981, by artists for artists, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts facilitates the creation, presentation, and understanding of contemporary art through an international residency program exhibitions, and educational programs Located in the historic Old Market, Omaha’s arts and culture district, Bemis Center serves a critical role in the presentation and understanding of contemporary art, bridging the community of Omaha to a global discourse surrounding cultural production today.
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is now accepting applications from national and international curators for its 2022–23 Curator-in-Residence Program. Beginning January 2022, the successful candidate will participate in an 18-month fully subsidized live/work residency as part of Bemis Center’s acclaimed Artist-in-Residence Program. S/he/they will originate and present one exhibition and related public programs inclusive of local, national, and international artists. The Curator-in-Residence will have space and freedom to work on research and curatorial projects independent of his/her/their exhibition at Bemis.
Competitive applicants will possess a strong knowledge of national and international contemporary art and a genuine interest in researching and responding to cultural production in Omaha and the region. The Curator-in-Residence will serve as a professional resource for local artists and arts professionals, and as an ambassador of Bemis Center in the community. S/he/they will be an integral member of Bemis Center’s Artist-in-Residence Program, stimulating intellectual discourse surrounding contemporary art practice through studio visits, knowledge-sharing workshops, and other organized programs with fellow artists-in-residence.
Applicants who have experience working in alternative art spaces, challenging conventional exhibition formats, and are invested in social justice and community-centered programming are strongly encouraged to apply.
Bemis Center welcomes international arts professionals to apply. Proficiency in English is required. Upon notification of acceptance to the residency, the selected individual will be responsible for preparing and submitting the required personal employment visa materials by September 2021. A P-3 visa is recommended. Please visit the USCIS website for more information: www.uscis.gov. Bemis Center will provide appropriate documentation and materials to supplement the visa application process. Due to the current state of temporary, immigrant travel policies to the United States, we are unable to guarantee approval. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. As an international call, Bemis Center strives to support applicants from any country.
–Five years equivalent professional work experience in the field with a minimum of 2–3 years of curatorial experience in an academic, nonprofit, alternative space, contemporary performing arts and/or commercial gallery setting
–Strong knowledge of national and international contemporary art and a keen interest in understanding and working with Omaha’s cultural landscape
–Excellent verbal and written communications skills
–Creative and strategic thinker with the capacity to take initiative and to work independently as well as a team player in a fun, yet demanding, arts organization
The ideal candidate will understand and promote Bemis Center’s mission as an ambassador of the organization and perform all Bemis-related duties in a professional, responsible manner.
Studio and amenities
The Curator-in-Residence is provided a generous-sized, private live/work studio including a kitchen and private bathroom and is equipped with basic items (linens, bedding, dishes, a basic set of tools, etc.) and furniture (bed, table, chairs, desk). Bemis residents have access to a variety of additional furniture that can be placed in the studio. Studios are also equipped with a paint sink, plywood-backed sheetrocked walls, accessible windows, concrete floors, and 12-foot ceilings. Additional amenities include complimentary utilities, laundry, WiFi, and free parking. The Curator-in-Residence studio is for single occupancy only; Bemis Center is unable to accommodate partners, children, and pets.
The selected Curator-in-Residence will receive USD 36,000, which includes a monthly residency stipend for 18 months, studio visit honorarium*, a travel/research allowance, and a curatorial honorarium*. The selected Curator-in-Residence will be offered a relocation allowance reimbursable up to USD 1,500.**
*Miscellaneous income is subject to reporting on Form 1099.
**Curator-in-Residence will organize personal travel and moving costs to and from Omaha, Nebraska.
Opportunities and expectations
Working closely with the curatorial team, the Curator-in-Residence will be involved in all curatorial and administrative aspects of organizing one exhibition over the 18-month residency. The exhibition will be original, conceptually rigorous, and exemplify the true breadth and experimentation currently defining contemporary art. The 2023 exhibition dates are March 23–June 3, 2023. The residency will conclude at the end of the exhibition.
The Curator-in-Residence will be responsible for research, artist relations, exhibition design and installation, writing/editing of scholarly texts and didactics, budgeting, conceptualizing, and leading exhibition-related public programs, and tours.
The Curator-in-Residence is invited to participate in opportunities to engage our community such as our public Open House / Open Studios.
Residency opportunities are open to national and international arts professionals 21+ years of age, showing a strong professional working history. Students enrolled in an academic program during the time of requested residency are not eligible to apply.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to creating a diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.
Applicants of all races, genders, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin, and all other characteristics that make us different are encouraged to apply. Ideal candidates share our values of creativity, trust, courage, diversity, tolerance, and the open exchange of ideas and worldviews. If you have questions about accessibility, contact the Residency Program Manager, Holly Kranker, at T 402 341 7130 x 12 or email@example.com.
The Bemis Center campus includes two buildings that are ADA compliant with barrier-free access. The main building spans six levels and houses twelve, private live/work studios between the second and third floors, each ranging in size and configuration. There are five live/work studios on the third floor with roll-in shower stalls. Communal installation workspaces are barrier-free. The private residency entrance to the first floor consists of six steps. There are seven stairs and an ADA-approved ramp to the main entrance, which also accesses the first floor. A passenger elevator operates between the first floor and fifth floor.
The Okada Sculpture & Ceramics Facility is a single-story, ground-level building located directly across the street from the main building. A cobblestone and brick city street separates the two facilities and conjoins the parking lot, which includes accessible parking spaces at the front entrance for visitors and residents. Okada includes two gender-neutral and accessible bathrooms with handrails. Workspaces can be arranged and organized to accommodate a variety of practices and needs.
The Sound Studio, located on the lower level, can be accessed from the first floor by eighteen steps. The basement level is also accessible from the first-floor entrance of the landing dock by a single chair lift or eighteen stairs. The Sound Studio is barrier-free and ADA compliant.
In striving to create accessibility for all, Bemis welcomes inquiries from applicants with specific questions to ensure we are prepared to meet the needs of any resident. Please direct residency accessibility questions to Holly Kranker, Residency Program Manager, at T 402 341 7130 x 12 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A 40 USD non-refundable application fee is due at the time of submitting an application through SlideRoom paid via credit card or by PayPal. Submission of completed applications is only accepted online through bemis.slideroom.com. Fees related to visa processes or passport acquisition are the responsibility of the awarded curator.
Application review process
SlideRoom will confirm receipt of your submitted application. Applications are reviewed by a rotating panel represented by national and regional arts professionals such as artists, curators, academics, and/or critics. The review process will take 6–8 weeks from the application deadline. Notifications to all applicants will be sent via email after the selection panel has made its final decision.